When I was a boy I was given a “Prince of Peace Edition” Bible. It came with a yellow ribbon bookmark on which was printed Isaiah 9:6 – “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” I read through that Bible for 5 or 6 years and that verse got burned into my mind. Another favorite verse goes right along with it: Zechariah 9:10 – “. . . and He shall speak peace unto the nations and His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.”
These verses are clear references to Christ’s millennial kingdom when we will live and reign with Christ for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4). I like the old rabbinical tradition that the history of this earth will mirror God’s seven day week. After 6,000 years since the Garden of Eden, the kingdom lost to mankind by The Fall will be restored as a mirror of our seventh day sabbath rest.
So, when we use the Hebrew greeting, “Shabbat Shalom” we are thinking beyond this week’s 24 hours of peace and rest and looking ahead to that great age when the nations will “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.” No more weapons of war – think of it!
We live in a war-torn world, but most of us don’t know what it is like to live in the midst of combat. Compare your life with the life of someone living in Kabul, Afghanistan just a few years ago, for example. At that time rockets were falling at random all over the city and destroying most of the homes and many of the people were killed. Then when the Taliban succeeded in taking over the city, they ran patrols which killed people at random and worse, just for the “fun” of it. War is a terrible thing and God’s peace is a precious thing. Let us thank God for the peace we can experience this Sabbath – spiritual peace between us and God, and military peace between us and our neighboring countries. God is good!